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Main Dishes - Meat Food and Wine Magazine
Lamb 12/1/2007


Submitted by: Ann Garfinkel

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Servings: 10 (or more)

This is a delicious hearty, meaty baked pasta that is a make-ahead meal. "It's actually better the next day," according to Chef Valenti. Our Bridge Club had it at Ann Garfinkel's and it was a hit! Everyone wanted the recipe.

1 pound pennette or ditali pasta
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground veal
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well.

2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ground lamb and veal and cook, stirring to break up the lumps, until the meat is beginning to brown, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, marjoram and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook over moderately high heat, shiwking constantly, until the sauce is very thick and boiling, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir all but 1 ½ cups of the sauce into the meat mixture along with the pasta and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the pasta into a 3-quart baking dish. Spread the reserved 1 ½ cups of sauce on top.

4. Bake the pasta in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until bubbling. Preheat the broiler. Broil the pasta 8 inches from the heat for about 2 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. An additional 30 minutes of cooking time may be necessary.

SERVE WITH: Escarole and radicchio salad and a plummy, rich, full-bodied Italian red wine (recommendation: 2003 Masi Campofiorin).

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